September 21, 2023

Tips for Becoming a Single Foster Parent

Becoming a single foster parent to unaccompanied refugee minors is a significant and rewarding undertaking. It requires dedication, empathy, and a commitment to providing a safe and nurturing environment for these vulnerable youth. Here are some tips to help you on this journey.

Research and Prepare

  • Educate yourself about the refugee crisis and the specific challenges faced by unaccompanied refugee minors. Understand the legal and cultural aspects of their situation.
  • Attend an information meeting about becoming a refugee foster parent with CCS. These meetings are held virtually, the first Wednesday of each month from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Learn more here.

Develop Cultural Sensitivity

  • Cultivate cultural sensitivity and awareness. Unaccompanied refugee minors come from diverse backgrounds and have experienced trauma. Being sensitive to their culture and experiences is crucial for building trust and rapport. 

Build a Support System

  • As a single foster parent, it is important to have a strong support system in place. Reach out to friends, family, and local support groups or organizations that can provide assistance and guidance.
  • Consider seeking therapy or counseling to help cope with the emotional challenges of fostering unaccompanied refugee minors.
  • Build a network of support that includes local refugee organizations, social workers, therapists, and other foster parents. Connecting with others who have similar experiences can provide guidance and emotional support. 

Provide Stability and Structure

  • Create a stable and structured environment in your home. Routine and consistency can help youth feel secure and adapt to their new surroundings.
  • Ensure their basic needs, such as food, clothing, and education, are met and provide access to healthcare when needed. 

Foster Open Communication

  • Foster open and honest communication with the youth in your care. Create a safe space where they feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, feelings, and concerns. Be patient and understanding, as these youth may have experienced significant trauma. Seek professional guidance if necessary to address their emotional needs.

Be Patient and Flexible

  • Understand that the adjustment process can be challenging for both you and the youth. Be patient and flexible, allowing them to express themselves and adapt to their new environment at their own pace. 

Access Resources 

  • Familiarize yourself with available resources for refugee youth, including healthcare, counseling, educational support, and community services. Ensure they have access to these services as needed.  

Maintain Cultural Connections 

  • If possible, support youth in maintaining connections with their cultural heritage, whether through language, customs, or cultural events. This can help them maintain a sense of identity and belonging. 

Remember that fostering unaccompanied refugee minors is a long-term commitment that can be challenging, but incredibly rewarding. You have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of these incredible youth and help them build a brighter future.  

You are not alone. The CCS Refugee Foster Care team is here to support you and the refugee youth in your care. 

For more information on becoming a foster parent or to RSVP please email us at or fill out an inquiry form.